Rounds 2 & 3 of the Footscray Cycling Club’s 2015/6 Criterium season were held this week out at the Victoria University track out at Hoppers Crossing, with Wednesday night’s racing being held in very windy and chilly conditions, and Saturday morning’s racing held under blue skies and temperate, calm conditions. With a very strong southerly making racing hard work, it was Andrew Bonello who cleaned up in A Grade on Wednesday, and Chris Munro who nearly lapped B Grade.
A:1 Andrew Bonello, 2 Travis Small, 3 Darren Henneken, 4 Ben O’Leary, 5 Liam Obrien
B:1 Chris Munro, 2 Vito Depetro, 3 Anthony Rebesco, 4 Mark Micallef, 5 Michael Dam.
C:1 Thomas Rebesco, 2 Phil Tehan, 3 Peter Burke, 4 Ross Liley, 5 Sebastian Chetcuti.
D:1 Richard Cozzella, 2 Hamish Munro, 3 Steve Biggs, 4 Cameron Godwin, 5 Ray Moriarty.
On Saturday, A-Grade’s race saw Club Champion Dom Dudkiewicz work hard to establish a break with no success at the start. ‘It was pretty aggressive; there were a lot of attacks and counter-attacks. Typical racing here for the first part of the race, and then Brett Hickford, Andrew MaCauley, Travis Small and myself established a break with a sizeable bunch chasing us.’ Dudkiewicz cleaned up in the sprint, beating home McAuley and Hickford to take the win.
B-Grade’s race saw several riders attack the bunch early on, with riders like Vito Depetro, Josh Ryan and eventual winner, 32 year old Brunswick resident Matt Eklan trying their luck at either applying pressure or breaking up the bunch on the front or by attacking. It was an exhausted bunch that were given three laps to go, and with Josh Ryan hammering away at the front to bring back Cameron Abbott, the scene was set for an interesting finish. Elkan knew that an attack on the last lap was the way to go. ‘It was hard to work out if anyone would be able to break away; I was hoping, but no one could make it stick. I kept getting stuck on the front so I knew I had to take the risk and attack.’ Elkan attacked with half a lap to go, and finished clear of the chasing bunch, with a line of riders contesting the sprint for the minor placings, with Vito DePetro and Mark Micallef rounding out the podium. Elkan, who has ridden with the FCC for two years, has been raising money for the Smith Family, and had pledged that if he raised $2500 he would ride a fixie in the Around The Bay In A Day event, and after raising $3800, and with the Support of Bikeforce Richmond, found himself doing just that!
C-Grade’s race was dominated by riders attempting to break away, and featuring in most of these were Geelong rider and eventual winner, Harrison Weisinger, as well as Troy Baker and Lyndon Blackley. In the end, these three riders proved too strong and gapped the field to take the first three positions in the race.
D-Grade’s race had a strong, sizeable peloton which included quite a few first time racers, but in the end it was veteran Tony Murrell who beat home Ray Moriaty and Mark Koutsogiannis in the bunch sprint.
A: 1st Dominik Dudkiewicz, 2nd Andrew McAuley (ANU), 3rd Brett Hickford, 4th Travis Small, 5th Miles DaCosta.
B: 1st Matt Eklan, 2nd Vito Depetro, 3rd Mark Micallef, 4th Matt Johnson, 5th Michael Dam.
C: 1st Harrison Weisinger (GCC), 2nd Troy Baker (MCL), 3rd Lyndon Blackley, 4th Jason Southby, 5th Sebastien Chetcuti.
D: 1st Tony Murrell, 2nd Ray Moriaty, 3rd Mark Koutsogiannis, 4th Graeme Wilson, 5th Cameron Godwin.